With funding raised by the People’s Postcode Lottery, the Canal and River Trust is installing new wildlife-boosting floating reed beds along the canal at Gloucester Docks.
It hopes these floating ecosystems will attract birds and insects to the area, as well as providing shelter for aquatic species, bringing more wildlife into the heart of Gloucester and giving canal visitors and boaters an appealing, natural landscape to enjoy in the city centre.
Volunteers have been helping to plant the floating beds this March 2023, which are made from recyclable, non-toxic, environmentally-friendly materials.
Bursting into bloom just in time for summer, visitors can look forward to a visual feast of flora and fauna, from reeds and sedges to colourful yellow flag irises and purple loosestrife, among many other native flowering plants.
Rob Williams, an ecologist at the Canal and River Trust, said: 'The floating reed beds make a huge difference to biodiversity and bring lots of different species into the urban area at the docks. Canals already bring wildlife into the heart of cities like Gloucester and this is a great way to enhance these nature superhighways.
'We know from our own research that being by water is good for health and wellbeing and we want to make the docks an even more attractive place both for people and wildlife.'
Gloucester's canal runs for 16 miles – all the way from the city centre to Sharpness, near Berkeley – and was once the broadest and deepest in the world at 26 metres wide and over five metres deep.